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Tennis

Queen Ash retires…

A bombshell in the tennis world today as world number 1 and the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement from tennis. Aged just 25, Barty has always been an atypical tennis player. A top junior snd successful doubles player as a teenager, Barty walked away from tennis after finding the grind of the tour not conducive to her mental health. Barty was away for a couple of years, and played cricket in her native Australia, before returning to the tour in 2016

Barty beats Muguruza, Birmingham June, 2017.

I first saw Barty live at the Birmingham WTA event, beating Garbiñe Muguruza in the semi-finals. I was paying more attention to Petra Kvitova, who beat Barty the following day in the final – her first title after returning from the hand injury sustained in a knife attack. That fairy tale return victory was a three set battle with Barty. Indeed, Petra vs Ash has been a compelling rivalry over the last few years.

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Tennis

The Ladies Killing it …

It’s March and the WTA tour is up to the Sunshine double – Indian Wells and Miami, two WTA1000 events. World number 1 Ash Barty is staying at home in Australia – that stroll to the Australian Open title took it out of her – and my other fave, Barbora Krejcikova is unfortunately injured. Krejcikova is up to world number 2 and would have been the top seed at Indian Wells, but that arm injury she picked up in Doha ruled her out. its unclear if she will be back for Miami, but a good chance for the other form players to overtake her and bag themselves a big title.

Surprise package of the year so far is undoubtedly Jelena Ostapenko. She took the title in Dubai and made the semis in Doha with some scintillating tennis. Ostapenko is one of the most entertaining players to watch on the tour. She has THE best facial expressions and her all out, all or nothing game is pretty devastating. She beat my beloved Petra in the QF, in a match Petra should have win. She served for every set and had match points, but Ostapenko was that bit more fearless at the key moments. Ostapenko then beat my other fave, Krejcikova and demolished my current nemesis, Garbiñe Muguruza in Doha. That was a real schadenfreude moment. Ostapenko ran out of steam against one of the other form players, Anett Kontaveit, who similarly ran up against a peaking Iga Swiatek in the final.

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Tennis

Krejcikova hits the heights!

New world number 2! Its funny the way things go as Barbora Krejcikova just had her most disappointing couple of weeks in the middle east swing, winning 2 and losing 2 matches. The losses to Yastremska and the red hot Ostapenko were, in retrospect, not awful, but still were surprising, especially the rather flat way she played. She now equals the highest ranking of her mentor, Jana Novotna and fellow Czech Petra Kvitova. Krejcikova is currently world number 2 in both singles and doubles.

Some achievement! Krejcikova will stay pretty high in the rankings until Roland Garros, regardless of how the next few months go, but after excellent consistency following that slam win, I hope she can pick up her form after a pretty flat middle east swing and shine again in the US sunshine double of Indian Wells and Miami.

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Tennis

Glory Days!

Petra beats Sabalenka in Dubai, Feb 2022
Pojd!

OK, so you know what I said about my favourites losing? Well forget it because today is a glorious day! Petra Kvitova beat world number 2 and the top seed at the WTA Dubai tournament 6-4, 6-4.

For me, Petra in full flight, hitting unbelievable winners and really going for her shots is why I became a fan. Her game is thrilling and beautiful to watch. Sabalenka has a bruising game and matched with her loud grunts, it is less pretty. I do kind of like her though, and the way she has fought through these serving woes is admirable. The way she overpowers opponents is not unlike young Petra. But today, she had no answers. Petra served well (although ended up with 6 double faults like Sabalenka! However, she cancelled them out with 7 aces and at key moments.)

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Tennis

What to do when your fave is losing!

Petra loses in AO Jan2021
Glum Petra in Melbourne

Every tennis fan gets there.
No player, and I mean NO PLAYER, will win forever. Dealing with losses is part of sport. But there are losses that hurt more and especially as a player gets older.

2021 and 2022 have not been great years for Petra Kvitova. Her surge to the Doha title in 2021 was glorious but there was precious little else to cheer, and the first round, day one defeat by Sloane Stephens at Wimbledon was a real low point. 2022 has been similarly dismal for us Petra fans with losses to low ranked players and lifeless performances. It can be tough to stay positive when getting bagelled by Begu!

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Tennis

On Becoming a Krejcikova stan…

A reflection from June 2021

Barbora Krejcikova – Roland Garros 2021

For me, I always like to have a favourite tennis player. Someone above all others I root for, feel exhilarated when they win and crushed when they lose. My first tennis crush was Steffi Graf. I can still remember how genuinely upset I was when she lost to Lori McNeil in round 1 of Wimbledon 1993. Justine Henin was my next favourite and the first I, as an adult, put up a picture on my wall. A rather beautiful photo of her stylish one handed backhand. Henin’s premature retirement in 2009 was like being dumped out of the blue! What…? Erm, I don’t get it… WHY!? I briefly dipped into being an Elena Dementieva fan which might have prepared me for the ups and downs to come for my devotion to my One True Tennis Love, the wonderful Petra Kvitova. I think it was her Wimbledon 2011 run that hooked me, and seeing that beautiful flowing game. Who could have known the roller coaster ride that was to come!

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Tennis

Women’s Tennis Rocks!

I love women’s tennis and especially the Czech player Petra Kvitova. This blog will focus largely on Petra but also some of the other WTA players I like. Krejcikova, Siniakova, Ostapenko, Rybakina, Halep, Kerber, and many many more! I am a pretty rabid tennis fan – and almost exclusively women’s tennis. However, none of my friends and family quite share my love. You tell people you’re a tennis fan and they assume you mean Federer, Nadal or Andy Murray. Maybe Serena at a push!

For me, women’s tennis is more exciting to watch as I think there is more of a mystery! Men’s tennis is very serve dominated and also physical. Plus there are a lot of players who seem like very… problematic men!

Anyway, this page will be my tennis diary so if you come across it, say hi and check out my posts in the links below.